Of all the speeches of the convention season, one laid out the best case for the election of one candidate over another, and that was the speech of President Bill Clinton on Wednesday night last week at the Democratic National Convention.
The speech beat the NFL's kickoff football game in the ratings, and tons of people tuned in to watch the now so-called "Secretary of Explaining Stuff" lay out the case methodically and over 49 minutes deconstruct almost every argument the GOP put forth in their convention.
So, when Barack Obama took the stage on Thursday, he had the luxury of accepting the nomination by giving a workman-like speech that looked forward and not backward. Clinton had already done it. Another elder statesman of the party also helped the President. That was Senator John Kerry.
Kerry gave a sterling speech that showed exactly why Obama has been an extremely solid President on foreign policy. Again, even though the speech was not seen by as many people as President Clinton's was, this opened the door for President Obama to look forward and not backward on foreign policy.
Of course, the speech with the most heart was the eloquent speech of Michelle Obama. Obama's speech was well-written and excellently delivered. She managed to tell the story of the President as well as the story of her family.
CNN released a poll on Monday that showed just how big of a bump it was. President Obama led 52-46 in that poll. He also leads now by 20 on the question of being, "in touch with the problems facing middle class Americans today." Before the convention, he led by six. It's quite a big jump.
These three speeches, in my view, made the difference.